A case study investigating creative teaching strategies inspired by Waldorf education at a public high school in the Western Cape

Hofmeyr, Elizabeth Lona (2020-12)

Thesis (MA(VA))--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As a Visual Arts and Design educator, with eight years of public school teaching experience of engaging with and implementing the CAPS curriculum, I noticed how often learners struggled with the theory component of the two subjects, Visual Arts and Design. It became evident that some learners favoured the practical component of the two subjects and saw the theory component as wearisome and/or trivial. As an educator, I wanted to find other teaching approaches focused on more creative and effective teaching as well as empowering my learners to become more motivated and excited about their own learning. After finding inspiration in Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of Waldorf education, I decided to embark on a research project that would implement Waldorf’s teaching strategies in my classroom at a public high school. This research explored creative teaching strategies used in Waldorf schools and the possible incorporation of these teaching strategies, such as the ‘Main Lesson Book’ strategy, in a public high school in the Western Cape, South Africa. The aim of this study was to identify elements of the Waldorf education system which could be used to improve teaching methods at public high schools in order to enhance the learning experience and success of learners with different learning styles and needs, whilst staying within the CAPS framework. The theoretical point of departure for this study was the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and the Waldorf education system. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, was the main theorist for this study. Further research was done on theorists such as Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget and Freire to identify the similarities and differences between their philosophies to CAPS and Steiner’s philosophies on education. A qualitative case study was conducted with an interpretive approach. A purposive sample of eighteen learners, between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, was used for this study. The main source of data collection was the learners’ theory lesson books, a questionnaire based on their experience creating ‘Main Lesson Books’ for Visual Arts theory and my own reflections and observations as a teacher. Inductive content analysis was used to examine the qualitative data collected in order to clarify how the learners experienced the process. Approval for this research project was given by all relevant parties and it was treated ethically. An inductive content analysis was used to determine the main themes for this research study. A possible risk to the validity of the qualitative research might exist due to the fact that I am not a trained Waldorf teacher and that I purely applied the strategies I researched and observed whilst observing the Waldorf teachers during a school visit. The findings of the case study revealed that after implementing the Waldorf teaching strategies, there was an improvement in learners’ attitude towards learning and the theory component in Visual Arts. The teaching strategies followed during this project proved to have a positive affect on the majority of the participating learners and they benefited from this experience. Through the process it became evident that it was possible to use Waldorf-inspired teaching strategies in a public high school if the strategies are adapted to fit within the CAPS framework and the public school lesson structures.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: As ’n Visuele Kunste en Ontwerp onderwyseres, met agt jaar ondervinding by ’n publieke skool en die gebruik en implementering van die KABV, het ek opgelet hoe leerders gereeld met die teorie aspek van die twee vakgebiede Visuele Kunste en Ontwerp sukkel. Dit was duidelik dat die praktiese deel van die vakke voorkeur by leerders geniet het terwyl die teorie as vervelig en/of as onbelangrik beskou is. As ’n opvoeder wou ek verdere onderrigtegnieke bestudeer wat meer op kreatiewe en effektiewe onderrig gemik is en ook my onderrigtegnieke aanpas om my leerders te help om meer gemotiveerd en opgewonde oor hul leerondervinding te wees. Nadat ek inspirasie in Rudolf Steiner se filosofie oor Waldorf-opvoeding gevind het, het ek besluit om ‘n navorsingsprojek aan te pak waarin ek Waldorf se onderrigtegnieke in my klaskamer kon implimenteer. Hierdie navorsing het kreatiewe onderrigtegnieke, soos Steiner se ‘Hooflesboek’, bestudeer wat by Waldorf skole gebruik word asook die moontlike gebruik daarvan by publieke hoërskool in die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika. Die doel van hierdie navorsingsprojek was om elemente van die Waldorf-opvoedkundigesisteem te identifiseer wat gebruik kan word om die onderrigtegnieke en leerondervindings in publieke skole te verbeter en die sukses van leerders, met verskillende leerstyle en behoeftes, te verbeter, maar steeds binne die raamwerk van die KABV te bly. Die teoretiese basis van hierdie studie was die Kurrikulum- en assesseringsbeleidsverklaring (KABV) en die Waldorf-opvoeding stelsel. Rudolf Steiner, die stigter van Waldorf-opvoeding, was die hoofteoretikus van die studie. Verdere navorsing is gedoen oor die werke van Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget en Freire om die ooreenkomste en verskille tussen hul filosofië en dié van die KABV en Steiner se filosofië oor opvoeding vas te stel. ’n Kwalitatiewe gevallestudie is gedoen met ’n interpratiewe benadering. ’n Doelgerigte proefgroep van agtien leerders, tussen die ouderdomme van vyftien en sestien, is vir die studie gebruik. Die hoofinligtingsbronne was die leerders se teorielesboeke so wel as ’n vraelys gebaseer op hul ondervindings gedurende die skepping van hul ‘Hooflesboeke’ vir die teorie van Visuele Kunste en my eie refleksies en waarnemings as ’n onderwyseres. Induktiewe inhoudsanalise is gebruik om die kwalitatiewe data wat ingesamel is te bestudeer en duidelikheid oor die leerders se ondervinding van die proses te verkry. Goedkeuring vir hierdie navorsing is deur al die betrokke partye gegee en dit is op ‘n etiese manier hanteer. ’n Induktiewe inhoudsanalise is gebruik om die hooftemas vir hierdie navorsingsprojek te bepaal. Die geldigheid van die kwalitatiewe navorsing kan moontlik bevraagteken word weens die feit dat ek nie ’n opgeleide Waldorf-onderwyseres is nie end at ek bloot die nagevorste en waargeneemde strategië gebruik het wat ek gedurende my besoek aan die Waldorf-skool waargeneem het. Die bevindings van die gevallestudie dui aan dat daar ’n verbetering was in leerders se houding teenoor die leer- en teorie-afdeling van Visuele Kunste na die implimentering van die Waldorf-onderrigtegnieke. Die onderrigtegnieke wat gedurende hierdie navorsingsprojek gebruik is, het getoon dat dit ’n positiewe invloed op die meerderheid van die deelnemende leerders gehad het. Gedurende hierdie proses het dit duidelik geword dat dit moontlik is om die Waldorf geïnspireerde onderrigtegnieke in publieke skole te gebruik as die tegnieke aangepas word om binne die raamwerk van die KABV en publieke skool se lesuitleg te pas.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109384
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